Dragon Run Special Area Management Plan

Advisory Group

February 11, 2003




1.      Welcome


2.      Developing a Watershed Management Plan


Ø      Dragon Run Watershed Overlay District (DRAFT)

Ø      Other Actions/Ideas


3.      Adjourn


Ø      Next meeting: Tuesday, March 11




Jack Miller (Middlesex); David Milby (VA Dept. of Forestry); Prue Davis, Dorothy Miller (Essex), Rick Allen, Anne Ducey-Ortiz (Gloucester); Mary Ann Krenzke, Mike Anderberg, Lorna Anderberg (Friends of Dragon Run); Robert Gibson (King and Queen); David Birdsall (Resource Management Service, Inc.); Andy Lacatell (The Nature Conservancy); Willy Reay (Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve - Virginia); David Fuss (MPPDC)


Welcome and Updates


David Fuss welcomed the Advisory Group. He provided informational updates about:

·         Forest Legacy funding proposal – designed to protect working forests, the VA Dept. of Forestry requests $3 million in FY04 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture budget for fee simple and conservation easement purchases; The Nature Conservancy developed the draft proposal and will provide $1 million in match funds

·         Dragon Run Land Use Policy Audit – MPPDC received 4 proposals; the review team will rank proposals; hope to start the project in March

·         Dragon Run Natural Resources Symposium – organized by the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia, this was designed as an information exchange between agencies and organizations involved in natural resource data collection in the Dragon Run; briefings on presentations by the Virginia Coastal Program, VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries, VA Dept. of Environmental Quality, Virginia Commonwealth University, The Nature Conservancy, Friends of Dragon Run, Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia


Developing a Watershed Management Plan


Solid Recommendations


David Fuss reviewed recommendations that have received approval at previous meetings, such as:


·         Establish Dragon Run Watershed Overlay District

·         Establish Public Education Campaign

·         Develop Awards Program

·         Erect Watershed Boundary Signs

·         Promote Use of Forest Stewardship Plans

·         Promote Use of Farm Programs/Plans (e.g. EQIP, nutrient management)


Overlay District


David Fuss distributed a handout that provided background on overlay districts and a conceptual idea of a Dragon Run Watershed Overlay District.


Group discussion points included:

·         Concern about property rights and performance standards

·         Will there be the political will for an overlay zoning district?

·         Example of Dragon Run Conservation District adopted in 1987 by 3 of 4 counties

·         “Come-here’s” might be less willing to impose restrictions than “been-here’s”

·         Research supports the idea of the Dragon Run deserving special treatment

·         Performance standards could be worked out proceeding backward from the vision of the outcome

·         How would overlay districts be applied?

·         Performance standards

o       Expanded buffer with BMPs inside that buffer (ex. 300 ft.)

o       Is an expanded buffer feasible under the Dillon Rule? Probably

o       Buffer must be defensible – water quality is not defensible above 100 ft buffer, but could use wildlife, groundwater flow for up to 300 ft

o       Soil types, wetland types – determinations are not easy

o       Numeric setback – special conditions could apply, but landowner would have to pay for that determination/evidence

·         Dragon Run Steering Committee review of rezoning requests, conditional use permits, special exceptions

o       Good idea, but investigate legal ramifications

o       Feasibility

o       Time frame, notification

o       How would it work? Ex) special meeting; designee (chair); staff support; engage/inform adjacent locality (i.e. adjacent counties offer input)

·         Opportunity as a tool to address development

·         Grandfather clause for current landowners – stronger protections kick in later


Other Actions/Ideas


The group briefly discussed the need to address other possible actions and ideas. A list of ideas that surfaced in previous meetings follows:


·         No wake zones

·         Exceptional waters designation

·         Natural Area Preserves

·         Recreational carrying capacity/access

·         Signage notifying boaters of private property rights

·         Conservation easements

·         Economic/tax forces fragmenting traditional uses


Advisory Group members also added cluster/conservation subdivision and invasive species (e.g. blue catfish).




The meeting was adjourned. The next SAMP Advisory Group meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 11 at 6:30 PM at the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission offices. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.